The Stream

The smouldering impact of London’s tower block fire

What are activists doing to ensure tragedies like Grenfell don’t happen again?

It’s been nearly seven weeks since a fire ripped through London’s Grenfell Tower, killing at least 80 people and injuring dozens more. Now there is word that at least sixty tower blocks, with the same cladding thought to have contributed to the intensity of the Grenfell blaze, have failed fire safety tests. That fact has many people worried about whether they are safe living in high-rise buildings and it has also renewed outrage over creeping gentrification in the city.  
Grenfell Tower and its residents stood in stark contrast to the world are them. The building is located in the posh Kensington neighborhood where properties can sell  for millions. It’s the kind of wealth the residents living in the tower only dream of.
“They want to get rid of the people who actually made the culture and the community,” Melvyn Akins, a community activist who grew up near the tower, says.
“They want to raise and build new property and sell it to the highest bidder. People assume because sections of the community may not have paid the same amount as newcomers that they are somehow not entitled to it.”
So what are activists like Melvyn doing to get justice for those who lived in Grenfell and ensure tragedies like it don’t happen again? 

On this episode of The Stream, we’ll speak to: 

Tomassina Hessel      
Evacuated resident

Melvyn Akins
Local resident

Pilgrim Tucker @PilgrimTucker
Community organizer

Feargus O’Sullivan @FeargusOSull

What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.